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March 1971

Infarction of Spinal Cord: Two Cases of Selective Gray Matter Involvement Secondary to Asymptomatic Aortic Disease

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (neuropathology) and neurology, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland. Dr. Mills is now with the Sansum Medical Clinic, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(3):228-241. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480330056005

Two patients with asymptomatic disease of the aorta, a painless dissecting aneurysm in one and eroded atheroma in the other, developed neurological signs and symptoms believed to be secondary to spinal cord infarction. Neuropathological studies revealed selective gray matter infarction in the lumbar and sacral cords. The total patterns of these infarcts, the clinicopathological correlation of these findings, and the uniqueness of the association between asymptomatic aortic disease and such gray matter infarction selectivity are reviewed. The theoretical and practical matters which arise as the result of such selective spinal cord infarctions and the variations in spinal cord blood supply and infarction patterns are discussed. Further detailed neuropathological studies are needed in such cases.

Key Words.—  Infarction, spinal cord, gray matter, aorta, angioanatomy.

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